TED Conversations

Lee Frankel-Goldwater

Educator, Writer, and Media Designer, New York University Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development


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A college level course using TED as the driver for discussion, research, and learning.

For some time I've had the though of creating a college level class based on TED Talks. The essence would be to look at different realms of innovation around the globe, the impact of open social media, and the role good story telling plays in communicating ideas.

Final projects could include creating your own TED talk and having a small TEDxEvent in the university. This could likely get a lot of support from local media and truly highlight some of the amazing work going on by students in universities around the world.

1. Is there anything like this going on already?
2. What could it entail and how could it be used to create more collaboration between departments?
3. Is there anybody interested in developing such a course for their university?


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    Jul 26 2012: Why not a high school level course? None of the talks that I have heard are too difficult for high school students of around age sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen.
    High school has a broad reach, embracing students who intend to go to college and those who don't. It is a misconception that only college-focused students care about big ideas. Consideration of the wide world of ideas out there is perhaps most important for students in those formative years.
    Colleges already have specialists across fields, including practitioners who either teach there or visit the campus to give lectures or teach courses. High schools do not have this depth at their finger tips and those who have left school no longer have such ready access except through distance learning.
    I know many college courses assign TED talks here and there that fit in with the other materials that are assigned that go into the issues of the course in depth.
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      Jul 27 2012: Completely agreed. The form would look different, but the greater amount of classroom exposure time that HS has would be valuable and also perfect for engaging the current generation of media saturated youth.
    • Aug 19 2012: Why not younger students as well? Being currently a highschool student myself, my English teacher uses talks to better explain the subject or topic at hand. Learning from the experience of others, and or researches and ideas help us, as in the students, wrap our heads around the concepts and see them from an experienced viewpoint. This method works on students that are a lot younger than the original audience it was aimed at, because these young people see the ideas from a more mature standpoint and they are presented with real world topics/knowledge/questions/ideas etc. Although I was already aware of the talks before they were used in our classroom, they really give a better understanding on the subject they are applied to. That's one of the benefits of being 14 :-) there's so much out there to learn and soooo much room to grow

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